Sue Bird-backed Seattle startup Vermouth acquired by publisher Valor Worldwide

Jeff Lanctot is Valor Worldwide’s co-founder and CEO. (Valor Worldwide Photo)

Valor Worldwide, the Seattle-based digital media company behind, announced its first acquisition with a deal to buy Seattle startup Vermouth.

Founded in 2017, Vermouth built a friend-based review app that was similar to Yelp. Vermouth combines “Ver” — Latin for “true” — and mouth.

The company raised investment from WNBA star Sue Bird, former Maveron partner Debra Somberg, and Oren Nissim, founder of Israeli mobile navigation firm Telmap, among others.

Bird described Vermouth as a “Yelp meets Waze meets Instagram.”

“If I followed you on Vermouth, I could see where you like to go to breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” she told GeekWire in 2017.

Valor plans to use Vermouth’s underlying software to power an upcoming Valor app that serves military families.

The Vermouth app in its current form will be supported until 2022.

“With the addition of the Vermouth social app, we’ll now be able to offer a unique platform to military families providing them a fun way to interact within their tight-knit military social network,” Jeff Lanctot, CEO of Valor, said in a statement. “They will now be able to recommend, engage, and ultimately become loyal customers of local businesses that have a great reputation serving the military.”

This is the second startup exit for Vermouth founder and CEO Jamien McCullum, who sold his previous company to Kareo in 2015. McCullum is working with Valor in a part-time consulting role in the near term. Vermouth employed less than 10 employees; a few will join the Valor team.

Lanctot, a former aQuantive and Microsoft executive, founded Valor in 2018 with longtime military media publisher Ken Marsh. The company is bootstrapped with less than 20 employees. Its board members include former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin and ex-aQuantive exec Maggie Boyer Finch.

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